Monday, November 10, 2008

The Last Batman Story--?

Before The Dark Knight Returns...Before Knightfall...Before Batman R.I.P. ...there was Batman #300's "The Last Batman Story--?" (March, 1978). Written by David V. Reed with art by Walt Simonson and Dick Giordano, the story was DC's double-sized anniversary blow-out for our favorite Caped Crusader. At the time, Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, and Terry Austin were setting the comics world ablaze over in Detective Comics, while Reed's Batman (with a variety of artists, mainly John Calnan, but occasionally folks like Michael Golden, Sal Amendola, and Rich Buckler joined him) just kind of trudged along. Because 'Tec was getting all the heat, this far-out gem is highly overlooked. In fact, as far as I can tell, it's never been reprinted!

Why would a story about what could possibly be the Batman's last case--complete with space shuttles, a grown-up Robin (wearing the Earth-2 Robin's costume for some reason!), and Simonson/Giordano art find itself all-but-forgotten? Well, Ol' Groove means to rectify that situation right now, baby! It's time for the world to remember..."The Last Batman Story--?" (A special tip of the tie-died bandanna [and a late Happy Birthday, to boot!] to Jon K. over at the awesome Jon's Random Acts of Geekery for inspiring this post!)


  1. I remember buying this book off the racks like it was yesterday. It's one of my favorite comics. It definitely needs to be reprinted.

  2. This was the first of the real "special" Batman anniversary/centennial issues. My personal favorite out of those is Detective #500's "To Kill A Legend", where Batman and Robin are sent to an alternate Earth which is about 20 years behind ours, in order to save Thomas and Martha Wayne. Batman is determined, but Robin notes that Earth has no superheroes, and that perhaps by following through on their plan, they will end up harming the world long-term. Great story and a terrific ending (which I won't spoil).

  3. You're right--this was really the beginning of some truly classic anniversary issues for DC. Detective #500 is truly awesome. Besides the magnificent "To Kill a Legend" (by Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano) you described, there was also a very good Batman/Deadman team-up, a Batman prose story by the Shadow's creator Walter Gibson, and a couple great Len Wein tales illustrated by Walt Simonson and Jim Aparo--plus lots more good stuff. Too bad it's post Groovy Age, or I'd do a post on that baby in a heartbeat!

  4. This was a really neat story... I have it in an Argentinian reprint and never knew how much plot I was missing due to the lousy translation.



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